Among the East End’s major film festivals, Spanish-language films are commonly included among other foreign language cinema, but only one event places them front and center: OLA of Eastern Long Island’s Latino Film Festival of the Hamptons. And the 2021 event, the 18th of its kind, is especially exciting because OLA has secured three award-winning feature films to grace the screens of two established Hamptons arts institutions.
These films all hail from different countries and represent distinct genres, but at their core, they’re all about the importance of seeking out and speaking the truth. All films include English subtitles to help accommodate non-Spanish speakers. And shorts by local filmmakers in the OLA Media Lab program will also be featured in the festival lineup.
“Each of the films offers a new perspective and a call for courage,” states OLA Executive Director Minerva Perez. “They are raw as well as incredibly entertaining. We will have the opportunity to hear from each of the filmmakers. This is one of my favorite OLA festival lineups. Even with all of the critical advocacy work we are committed to, OLA understands the vital impact art has on bridging cultures and building understanding and harmony among neighbors.”
The Latino Film Festival kicks off on Friday, September 17 with a reception at the Parrish Art Museum (279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill) and a tour of Tomashi Jackson’s exhibition The Land Claim. At 7:30 p.m., the outdoor screening of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) begins and will be followed by a recorded interview with its Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante. This R-rated political drama has received 32 awards and 60 nominations to date. This slow-burn story, about the ghosts of the past bleeding into the present, merges the real-life horrors of the Guatemalan genocide with one of Latin America’s most famous folkloric legends. Admission for the tour, reception and film is $15. Don’t forget to bring a chair! Visit parrishart.org for tickets.
The next film on the schedule is Los Días de la Ballena (Days of the Whale), screening at Sag Harbor Cinema (90 Main Street, Sag Harbor) on Saturday, September 18 at 7 p.m. In the film, Cristina and Simon are two young graffiti artists leaving their mark on the city of Medellín, Colombia. Familiar tensions come together to tell a story where the powerful strength of youth faces fear, violence and the hardships of growing up. It will be followed by a live conversation with Columbian writer-director Catalina Arroyave, as well as a six-minute short by Allura Leggard titled Voces de la Juventud (Voices of Youth).
Finally, at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sag Harbor Cinema gears up for round two with an under-21 event to round out the festival. The featured screenings are Mito y Movimiento (Myth and Motion), a 28-minute video concert directed by Carolina Fuentes, and the feature film Los Infiltrados (The Infiltrators), directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera. The film follows Claudio Rojas, who is suddenly and unexpectedly detained by ICE officials outside his Florida home. He is then transferred to the Broward Transitional Center, a detention facility used as a holding space for imminent deportations. Filled with fear at the thought of never seeing Claudio again, his family desperately reaches out the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of activist Dreamers known for stopping deportations. The filmmaker will host a live conversation after the film.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. show at Sag Harbor Cinema are $10, and tickets to the 9:30 p.m. show for young adults are $5. Purchase tickets at sagharborcinema.org.
“We are fortunate to continue collaborating with Parrish Art Museum and Sag Harbor Cinema to bring these films to beautiful iconic East End venues,” Perez adds.
To learn more about OLA of Eastern Long Island and the vital programs and services they provide the East End’s Latin American community, visit olaofeasternlongisland.org.